Before we fly on a plane flight attendants demonstrate how to put on an oxygen mask in case the plane crashes. They always emphasize “make sure to put your mask on first”. That is because if a person takes care of their own needs first, they are then able to take care of others. It’s the same with everyday life. Women often let the needs of their family take precedence over their needs. It’s the ole “I’ll take care of me, once everyone else has what they need”. Many times that “me” gets the short end of the stick. If you are doing this, you are working yourself into a corner of feeling resentful, tired, frustrated and a down right cheated. You are not only cheating yourself, you are also cheating those you care for. If you want to offer your best self to others, it is imperative to take care of yourself and nurture your soul first. Exercise, communing with nature,and taking time for the things in life you enjoy will make you a happier person and better able to take care of those in your life you love. Self care has to happen first. The same is true for your home too. All the beautiful pillows in the world will not make you love anything about your home if you don’t love yourself. Having compassion for ourselves makes us available to have greater compassion for others and in turn makes us happier which leads to the ability to love our situation whatever that might be. Could be you are frustrated because you feel your home isn’t the way you want it, when the reality is, it really isn’t about the home. Sure things could look prettier. That old armchair would definitely look better in a fab new fabric but if you practice self care, I can promise you won’t be as affected by most things in life that have bugged you in the past.
Another area of self compassion I want to address is negative self talk? From childhood through adulthood, we are taught that competition is good. We live in a world of trying to “keep up with the Jones”. When our expectations don’t meet our outcome there is disappointment. We beat ourselves up because we didn’t win or because someone else seems to be
getting ahead. We all do it. It’s the culture we live in. Our preacher says we need to “be in the world, but not of the world.” There is only one way to do this. It’s called self compassion. Start treating yourself like you would your best friend. If a friend failed at something, would you say something mean like “well you really could have done that better” or “that was really dumb”? No, you would look for the good to celebrate to lift their spirits, so why not try doing that for yourself? The next time temptation strikes to compare yourself to another, stop and think about all the good you have in your life. Celebrate your victories and don’t give the negative thoughts power. Be grateful for where you are and what you are doing, because it is exactly where you are suppose to be. What we often perceive as a negative can be a life lesson we needed to learn to become a better person. Don’t look at negative situations as anything more than learning situations. Take a deep breath and tell yourself that everything is going to be ok. Look around and take note. There is always someone who would gladly trade for your set of problems. If you think of your life as “the glass half empty” it will be and if you look at your life as the “glass half full it will be”. I am going to choose full, how bout you?
Sundays are a great day to rest, recharge, and reboot.
Take advantage of connecting with your inner compass.
Your family, and all those around you will see a difference. Most importantly you will feel energized and refreshed. Life won’t feel so frustrating. Taking time for yourself and giving yourself a little pat on the back feels good. Try it!